Not Seeing Results?
Happy Wednesday, Everyone! Susie Larson here!
And to those visiting, I say welcome! I post every Wednesday and my sole purpose is to nourish your soul along the way. Each month I give away a $10.00 Starbucks gift card to someone who posts on my blog. So share an insight, bless lots of people, and just maybe you'll win a jolt of java for you and a friend!
One more thing...Four times a year I send out a (FREE) E-zine with lots of great stuff in it! I write an extended devotional, we give away a good stack of books from various authors, and share several ministry updates. My next issue releases this Saturday, October 15th. You can sign up at my website: www.susielarson.com
Now on to my topic...
Do you ever get weary in doing good? Ever wonder when you'll see the fruit of your labor? Or maybe you wonder if all of your effort made any difference at all.
I've had a number of conversations recently with people who are weary in the waiting and I've wrestled with these thoughts in my own life. I knew that if I didn't open my hands and look up, I'd find myself tangled up in my thoughts and tripped up by a wrong perspective. After putting it all on the table and giving God room to speak to me, He led me back to a faith that stands even when my eyes cannot see.
Scripture calls us to pray and keep praying, to believe and keep believing, to speak life, and keep speaking life, but eventually we want to see the results of our efforts, right? There's a little something in all of us that after we've exerted a certain amount of effort, we start to believe that God owes us something. Maybe we don't dare say that out loud, but if we're honest, there's a little card in our back pocket that we pull out when we've had enough. We hold it up to God and in so many words say, "But what about all I've done? What about all I've tried to do? Would it hurt You to come through for me? Can you give me something?"
Even Job got there eventually. He was an amazing, righteous, godly man. But when he was pushed far enough, he pulled out the card. He listed his acts of righteousness. Who can blame him? He was a righteous man. But then the Lord spoke and Job covered his mouth. He declared, "Surely I spoke of things too wonderful for me."
Here's the thing. We are made righteous by God alone. Every good thing comes from Him. Apart from Him, we don't have a leg to stand on. And even as we grow in Him, we must find our secure footing on Him alone. How easy it is to shift our weight to our efforts, our recent righteousness, or our consistent faithfulness, but we must not. We live faithfully, because He is faithful in us.
In due time we will reap a harvest of righteousness, a breakthrough to our prayers, and blessings for our obedience, if we do not give up. His promises are true and so those principles are true. But those breakthroughs are determined by God's wisdom and timing. If we shift our weight onto our efforts and begin to expect something before its time, or feel entitled to something that God hasn't given us yet, we'll step onto a rug that the enemy can pull out from under us.
We are bondservants of the Most High God. He is overwhelmingly good to us. Still, we serve Him on His terms, His timing, and according to His highest and best will for us.
I've learned not to 'do the math' so to speak when I find myself in a weary place. When I consider all I've invested in a certain person or situation, and see no fruit from my faithfulness, I can so easily despair; and when I let myself go there, I get weak. At such times it's especially important to step back, to put a flag in the ground, and to declare the faithfulness of Almighty God no matter how barren the field might appear.
The results belong to God. Diving timing belongs to God. Breakthroughs, increase, and seasons belong to God. Mine is to obey, His is to do everything else.
If you're not seeing results, it's because you're not ready for them. Obedience in this place is first to submit to God. Then, resist the enemy's taunts to engage in despair, discouragement, self-pity, or entitlement. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (See James 4:7).
God gave us everything when He gave us His Son. He owes us nothing. He deserves our highest praise and our absolute trust. The faithful soul will put a flag in the ground and declare, "Though I can't see Him, I know He's with me. Though the barns are empty, I will praise Him. I know He'll one day fill them. Though my loved one's heart seems far away, I trust God will one day draw her near. I'm not moving from this place of faith. God will bring the breakthrough when He'll get the most glory and when I'm most ready for it."
Psalm 126:5-6 says this ~ Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.
Galatians 6:9 says this ~ Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
May we press on, in His Name!
~Until next week...